Chapter XIII - 46 Home | Index | Previous | Next

XIII. The Coronation of Parikshith

Kunthi Devi took the road that Shyamasundar had taken. What was left was the lifeless body. Arjuna wept aloud, "Brother! What shall I say? We have lost our mother". Dharmaraja who was standing by was shaken hard by the shock; he stepped towards the body and finding the face blanched, stood petrified.

The maids outside the door heard the words of Arjuna and they peeped into the room. Kunthi Devi's body was lying on the floor; Arjuna had her head on his lap; he was intently looking at her face with tearful eyes. The maids of the palace transmitted the news from one to another; they entered and realised that the Dowager queen had left them, without possibility of return. They wept aloud at the heartbreaking calamity.

Meanwhile, news reached the queens in the inner apartments. Within seconds, the sad tidings spread all over Hasthinapura. The queens overcome with grief; they tottered in, beating their breasts in anguish. Endless stream of sorrow, the denizens of the palace flowed into the apartment. Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva and the ministers were overpowered with grief.

The air was filled with indescribable agony. Nobody could believe that Kunthi Devi, who, a few minutes ago, was so eagerly awaiting her son Arjuna, to hear the news he brings from Dwaraka, could have passed away so soon. Those who came and saw stood mute and motionless. The wailing of the maids, the groans of the queens, and the grief of the sons melted the rockiest heart.

Dharmaraja consoled every one and instilled some courage. He told them not to give way to grief. He did not shed tears; he was moving about bravely, directing every one and infusing strength of mind. This made every one wonder at his self-control. The ministers approached him and said, "O king, your unruffled nature fills us with admiration. You revered your mother and treated her as the very breath of your life. How is it that your heart has taken her death so callously?" Dharmaraja smiled at their anxiety. "Ministers! I am filled with envy, when I think of her death. She is indeed most fortunate. The world dropped from her life as soon as she heard the news of Krishna moving on to his heavenly home. She left immediately for that home, for, she could not bear the pang of separation from Him" said Dharmaraja.

"We are most unfortunate. We were so near Him; we derived so much of Ananda from Him; we heard of His departure; but, yet, we are alive! Had we really the devotion that we claimed, we should have dropped the body like her when we heard of that loss. Fie on us! We are but burdens on the earth. All our years are a waste".